St. Petersburg has been the scene of public ceremonies commemorating the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea two years ago to the day.
Nikolai Grebnev, chief training officer at the Leningrad Naval Base in the area, said wreaths and flowers had been placed at the submariners' tombs at the Serafimovskoye Cemetery of St. Petersburg. Relatives and friends of 32 seamen gathered at the site. The ceremony was also attended by office staff of the presidential envoy to the Northwest Federal District, City Hall officials, Leningrad Military District Commander Valentin Bobryshev, and Leningrad Naval Base Commander Alexander Kornilov. A moment of silence was observed in memory of the lost seamen.
A requiem mass was held at the Maritime Cathedral of St. Nicholas and Epiphany following the wreath-laying ceremony.
Other cities of northwestern Russia witnessed similar ceremonies in commemoration of the Kursk crewmembers. In Severodvinsk, near Archangel, a commemorative public gathering was organized. In Vidyayevo, Murmansk Region, from where the Kursk set off for what became its last journey two years ago, a memorial was unveiled to submariners who died at sea. Sailors' families were invited to the unveiling ceremony.
The Kursk sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, killing all of her 118 crew on board. An investigation has concluded that the disaster was caused by an explosion of an unarmed torpedo the ship was carrying.